Barnes, E.J. – Blaster Al Ackerman’s Tales of the Ling Master #1


Blaster Al Ackerman’s Tales of the Ling Master #1

I’m going with the full title here, mostly because I think the fact that these comics are based on the stories of Al Ackerman should be prominently featured.  E.J. got permission from Blaster to adapt the Ling Master stories as comics, and the result is this utterly unique collection of stories.  Well, this and the following two issues, but I’ll get to them in good time.  I reviewed The Bread Doll Fancier a few years back when it was a preview issue, but if memory serves (which it often doesn’t), then this is first description of what exactly a Ling Master is, both from the origin of the phrase from Ackerman (inadvertently snipping a logo the wrong way and coming up with “Ling Tales”) and the definition of a Ling Master.  The first story of the book deals with exactly this, as it describes a man who puts a pillowcase with one eyehole cut out of it on his face at midnight every day, so he’s ready for “mystic Ling action”.  His brother had been kidnapped by Vug-Randolphs (large, sentient black beetles) , and his mother had signed up with the “dreaded Araby society” when he was 8.  Our hero also varies all his activities to avoid being tracked, and it’s hard not to come to the conclusion that maybe he’s just completely crazy.  Next up is The Bread Doll Fancier, a profoundly creepy tale in which the Ling Master either ends up being a hero or ends up feeding the delusions of a man who was already pretty crazed.  Finally there’s Ask Ling, as the Ling Master answers questions from his fans in the mail (as long as they remember to send the five dollars), this time focusing on the malady of sneezing every time they had a mouthful of carrots.  The story then goes to the case of a young boy who was expelled from the dinner table because of this habit but soon learned to associate even mildly salacious programming on television with uncontrollable sneezing, leading him to a very sad end.  I would still love to see the source material for some of this, but these are undeniably inventive and completely original stories.  I love the ambiguity of the Ling Master himself and the fact that he’s unquestionably held out to the world as an expert on everything.  It’s definitely worth a look, and if the next two issues are as good as this one (something I have no reason to doubt), then I’d say this whole series is worth picking up.  $3

Posted on June 25, 2010, in Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Barnes, E.J. – Blaster Al Ackerman’s Tales of the Ling Master #1.

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